September 7, 2020

GUEST ROOM | A Plea to Vote

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I need not to tell you the struggles, hardships and troubles that have plagued our nation not solely in our immediate memory, but in our history as a country. From social injustices, to economic depressions, to a nationwide pandemic, our way of life remains constantly in need of improvement.

My hope, and the hope of Cornell Votes, is that all Cornellians — students, faculty, professors, administrators, staff and all those who call Cornell home — understand that your voice matters. Every individual person’s experiences, successes, failures, and everything in between matters. You as an individual are not a cog in a wheel, but a valued member of our community, one deserving of respect and decency from others. You as an individual have a right to be heard and express your satisfactions and dissatisfactions with your home, your school, your nation and your community.

For those who hold the right to vote, I implore you to utilize the privilege you have been gifted. I implore you to make your voice heard, to be represented in your government and to hold your representatives accountable. I implore you to vote not solely for yourself, but for your community and for those who cannot speak for themselves.

For those who are unable to vote, I wish to emphasize the impact your voices still have. To facilitate meaningful conversation around difficult issues and to raise awareness to those issues in which you most strongly believe are actions of paramount importance. The ability to vote does not determine your worthiness as a member of this community and all Cornellians deserve to be heard.

At the moment, Cornell is accomplishing a near-impossible task. I ask that we, as a community, work to accomplish another task deemed undoable: As young people, vote. Among all the barriers and attempts to silence young voices, Cornellians can prove to not only ourselves, but to the nation, that we have a right to be heard and we shall be heard. Students, professors and all members of our community alike have the right to be heard, but that comes with the responsibility of utilizing your rights and voting.

Make your voice heard and make your voice count, because Cornell Votes.

Patrick Mehler is a sophomore in the College of Industrial and Labor Relations. He is the President of Cornell Votes. Comments can be sent to opinion@cornellsun.com. Guest Room runs periodically throughout the semester.